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tv   NBC Bay Area News Special  NBC  March 8, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT

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you're watching an nbc bay area news special. "bay area proud." >> it's just something fun to get through this experience. >> the power of purple pol issueishpolish. yes, nail polish. >> it really touches my heart. >> you want to be able to say you did something good. >> many things can happen over a cup of coffee including a budding romance. >> my first cup of coffee was from this one. >> this love story comes with an extra shot thanks to a bay area coffee company helping those serving overseas. and one san jose state
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student hitting the galactic jackpot is good enough. but watch for it to happen twice. here's nbc bay area's garvin thomas. >> thank you for joining us. this is a chance to showcase just some of the people doing good things in the bay area. we begin with a story of friendship. one that started the day in sixth grade that they met. it's a friendship that rose to a whole new level this year their sophomore years at cupertino high school thanks to friendship and an entire community's generosity. every other year at cupertino high school they hold a hall of fame rally where exceptional students from years gone by are honored. this time they took time to
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honor an exceptional act of kindness from one of their current classmates. one big enough to bring michael munson to tears. >> thank you guys. >> reporter: it was back in february that michael's dad martin, an active 53-year-old fell while walking his dog along the saratoga creek. marty's back hit a rock on the way down. he says he knew he was paralyzed the moment it happened. michael tried to keep the bad news a secret at school but his best friend eshon sharma saw right through it. >> i went to him and turned him around. i saw tears in his eyes and knew something was wrong. >> reporter: he desperately wanted to help michael at any cost. >> the next few days michael came to me really sad. we just got the medical bills. the wheelchair costs $25,000.
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i'm like, wow. escion immediately dove into fund-raising holding dinners, rallying his classmates not stopping until they got to that magic number and beyond. >> he's been a really good friend to me and i wanted to reciprocate. >> to be honest he's someone that i can't like express more grat today toward. a relationship that i can't really explain. like it's amazing. >> reporter: made all the more amazing when martin's wheelchair arrived this past monday. this one a loaner until his personally fitted one is ready. it didn't matter to marty, though, who immediately took it out for a spin. the wheels of freedom thanks to the bonds of friendship. from the bonds of friendship to
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the bonds of matrimony and how one man's wish to see his wife smile dearinguring a difficult time has taiken on a life of its own. the time has been filled with many unpleasant surprises but one very nice one. and as you'll soon see, one that thanks to the kindness of strangers, keeps on giving. as hard as the doctors and nurses try to make it otherwise, valerie's twice monthly immunotherapy infusions are not all that pleasant. from the moment with the needle to the hours of nothing, there is not much to make her smile. which is why it is so great that should valerie need a smile, all she has to do is look at the purple polish at the tips of her toes and think of the story behind that.
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>> it's just something fun to get through this experience. >> reporter: valerie's experience began last august. it was just about a month before her wedding to longtime partner ralph when doctors told valerie the cause that had nagged her for three years was something very serious. stage 4 lung cancer. >> it's just devastating to be -- receive that diagnosis. >> reporter: the month that followed was a dark time valerie admits. but that is when with hopes of raising her spirits just a little ralph took valerie to get a pedicure. she went with her favorite color, purple. then so did ralph. >> he said he'd do his toes purp purple as well to make me smile. >> it seemed to work though. you were laughing pretty good. >> it turned out to be just the
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first, though of many smiles. that's because after ralph posted a picture of their purple painted toes a remarkable thing happened. started doing the same followed by complete strangers who had heard about what half had done. hundreds upon hundreds of them. all painting their toes and sending their pictures just to make valerie smile. >> it touches my heart. it just really gets down to a deep level and just the support and the fun that i think people have with it too. that's you know i want it to be really both. >> reporter: it has, though become more than that. with the help of friends, these wonderful gestures have grown into a fund-raising campaign. one that has raised more than $12,000 for lung cancer research and continues to raise the
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spirits of one woman who needs it now moirere than ever. >> thank you. our next story is about a marriage, too, although one that hasn't happened yet. the couple of still making arrangements. but one thing we know for insure that will be on the menu coffee. and you'll know why after you hear their story. >> are there rooms for the bride and groom to get ready? >> reporter: whiteny and steven's relationship began when that met over a drink. for these two, getting married next spring was a cup of coffee. >> the cup. >> those are beautiful photos. >> reporter: but their relationship is in in one way not like any other. to understand why, well you first have to meet the man who made them that coffee. jason is ceo of san rafael's green bean coffee company. if you've information been to
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one of their stores it's understandable. while green beans roast their coffee here they have no retail outlets. their locations tend to be a bit more exotic. jason and brother john originally from los gatos started it 20 years ago with a single coffee shop in saudi arabia. soon the u.s. military was asking them to open cafes on bases all over the middle east including post-9/11, afghanistan and iraq. >> our staff would go to work wearing kevlar and flak jackets. >> reporter: green beans strives to give soldiers not just good coffee but 15 minutes of home. still, they wanted to do even more. which is how cup of joe for a joe started. for just $2 folks statside can send a cup along with a message
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to a random service member overseas. with more than a million cups delivered in just five years it's been wildly successful and also unexpected. no one at green beans anticipated the volume of thank you notes that would come back from soldiers. nor did they expect the friendships, the pen pals. >> i signed for the program the day before. >> and why marriage. >> my first cup of coffee was from this one. >> whitney, in jordan sent steven in afghanistan, a cup of coffee last year. >> i was jumping up and down. >> jason is thrilled with the idea his company has brought love to two people. he is genuinely moved, though to think it's brought a moment of peace to so many more. >> you want to be able to look back anon your life and say you
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did something good something substantial. and you genuinely made a difference in people's lives. coming up a giants fan embraces his magical moment on the mound. and while his joy was unmistakable, it's the story of how disdevelopmentally disabled man got here that's the real inspiration. >> every kid deserves to be out there at least once in their school lifetime. that's what we try and make possible. >> out there is out on the bay. but who benefits more from this voyage? the volunteers or the kids? and not one, but two students surprise their astrophysics professor with their out of the world discovery. how they did it when we come back.
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[ birds chirping ] [ inhales, exhales ] [ announcer ] cigarettes are not just dangerous when they're smoked. [ rat squeaking ] they're dangerous long after.
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cigarette butts are toxic. they release chemicals that poison our water... and harm wildlife. and millions... are polluting our environment. [ sniffing ] [ seagulls squawking ] this next story proves you're never too young to make big scientific discoveries. they are undergraduate students
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at san jose state university. not only does neither of them yet have a college degree michael has taken a sum total of one astrophysics class in his career. that didn't stop either of them from shooting for the stars and finding them literally. the great space discoveries of our day are no longer made looking through an eye piece at an observatory. they are made crunching numbers an a xoortcomputer. it's why when physic and astronomy professor aaron romanowski wanted to teach an eager student how to find a newly discovered type of galaxy he pointed him to a set of data. it took that student, richard vo, about a year to learn how to even do the search. but when he did earlier this year -- >> it was the first time he
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looked for something, he found something right away. >> more mass packed in -- >> reporter: what he found was the densest collection of stars or lt ra compact dwarf galaxy anywhere. >> we don't know much about anything at all. it's just out there. >> reporter: richard was flown to hawaii to confirm it at an observatory there. >> having a 23-year-old undergrad make such a finding was so unexpected it was like winning the lottery. you can just imagine how he felt when it happened again. >> this is the object i found here. michael sandoval is a classmate. richard shared what he knew and just a month later, michael made a finding that blew even richard's out of the water.
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the new densest galaxy known to man. >> well then great. >> can we look at this? >> both young men are now collaborating on a paper. starting two careers in science with one very big bang. now to helping others discover a love of the wart. the pegasus project has been taking children out of their comfort zones by taking them on to the bay. it appears to be doing the kids some good. it's certainly doing the volunteers some good. >> okay. we're going to come a little closer this way. >> reporter: even sitting high and dry on shore, there's a lot a kid can learn about a boat. >> where's the mast? >> reporter: but put that kid in the boat and the boat in the water, there is even more a kid can learn about themselves. at least what's what those who
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work on the pegasus project say they've seen oh, a few thousand times. >> it's a very powerful and evocative mission. >> reporter: peter hayes brought a fist50-foot sailing ship called "the pegasus" to the bay area. since then they've taken some 13,000 urban schoolkids many who had never been on a boat before on voyages around the bayh. they spend a few hours, sometimes a few days. learning about sailing, the ocean and ultimately themselves. >> every kid deserves to be out there at least once in their school lifetime. that's what we try and make possible. >> reporter: peter can do it thanks to a team of volunteers with a wide variety of backgrounds and one remarkable dedication to the cause. >> we've introduced a lot of kids to a whole new world for
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them. >> jim has been with pegasus for 18 years. and on this day's crew that makes him the new guy. paul a professional ship's captain, mark a physician's assistant, and patty, a berkeley city employee have all been at it even longer. >> some of our volunteers view this as the most important thing they do in their life. >> they'll joke and tell you any opportunity to get out on the water is one they'd gladly take. but clearly there is something about this mission that seems to give the adults as much as it gives the kids. >> it touches a part of your soul where you feel like that's the passion i want the change i want to make in the world. when you come back to it. coming up, baby falcons take flight with a little help from a dedicated group of volunteers.
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>> they are wild animals in an urban environment. we need to make insure they survive. first, a bear hug an the field at at&t park made him an international sense ags. see what they do off the field that makes him a true inspiration.
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our next story features a memorable moment from a giants game this spring. not from a player but from a great fan. charlie gave an inspirational speech at a non-profit. in attendance giant great will clark. he asked charlie if there was anything he could do for him. >> throwing out the ceremonial first pitch -- >> we should all be so lucky that whennor moment in the evening sun arrives, we are
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ready to embrace it like charlie hughes did. in charlie's case literally. >> let's hear it for giants superfan charlie hughes. it was a bit of a social media sensation. charlie's join bringing smiles and inspiration to thousands of others, none more so than his mom kathleen. >> my husband and i just laughed. that's charlie. >> reporter: charlie has been inspiring his mother for many years. and what she has done with that is the real story here. charlie and between brother peter were born three months premature, barely three pounds between them. charlie got the worst of it. nine months on a ventilator. a lifetime of difficulty learning. charlie is a fighter. he used abandoners full of
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recaps and box scores to teach himself reading and math. still, kathleen wondered what job opportunities would be there for charlie down the road. so with a background in catering kathleen helped start a cafe at charlie's middle school staffed with other special needs students. >> they often feel disconnected to their own community. >> then did the same thing at his high school. >> we're going to prepare strawberries in two ways. >> and now kathleen is taking it big time. when palo alto's newest public library opens later this year ada's cafe will be there to serve. >> a lot of hungry people. >> kathleen working not just with charlie. >> i am cleaning the strawberries. >> reporter: but other develop developmentally disabled adults. teaching them kitchen skills.
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giving them life skills. helping them earn a paycheck. >> for many of them knowing that you are valued enough to receive a paycheck is huge. >> reporter: one woman combineing a love of food and a love for her son helping others embrace life just like charlie does. coming up falcons in flight. but that's not what a group of volunteers is watching for through their binoculars and telescopes. how they nurtured these chics when they need it the most.
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♪ ♪ ee-e-e-oh-mum-oh-weh ♪ ♪ hush my darling... ♪ ♪ don't fear my darling... ♪ ♪ the lion sleeps tonight. ♪ [snoring.] ♪ hush my darling... ♪ [snoring.] ♪ don't fear my darling... ♪ ♪ the lion sleeps tonight. ♪ [snoring.] take the roar out of snore. yet another innovation only at a sleep number store. a bit of the animal kingdom in the urban jungle. part of the reason is that the urban landscape of tall bridges and buildings to nest on is a lot like their natural environment of cliffs. good thing the falcons have
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dedicated friends to help them steer clear. of all the places in san jose to hold a party, the roof of the parking garage at south fourth and southeast san fernando might seem less than desirable to most people yet completely logical to these people. >> wish they'd come out and fly. >> reporter: for jodi and more than a dozen volunteers like her, offerver the past two weeks, this has been their home away from home. >> they are wild animals in an urban environment. we need to make sure they sorry vif -- survive and go forth and multiply multiply. >> reporter: for the eighth year they've produced chicks. two boys and two girls. and while falcons are great at flying fastest in the world,
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they are not so good at landing. at least when they are young. >> when it comes to coordinating their wings and feet is when they run into trouble. >> people can help them during that brief transition period. >> i have no view of her. >> reporter: and that is where fledge watch comes in. >> 10-4. >> reporter: from the parking garage roof and on city streets, they watch. >> we have two on the roof. >> when a young bird flies, they track it. >> that's the furthest she's flown in her life. >> if it lands somewhere it can't take off again, they give glen a call to rescue it and return it to the nest. >> we've picked up two this year. they would have perished for sure. >> this duty is not action-packed all the time. there are many hours, upon hours, when there is nothing a group of humans can do other
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than watch these birds learn how to be birds. it is in those toomimes perhaps these people understand best why it is they perch up here to watch others nesting up here. >> because i love the birds. thanks for joining us. you can also watch those stories every tuesday and thursday dearingor during our 5:00 p.m. newscast. we've also posted them on our website. we'll see you next time.
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daly: last night "the voice" returned... ♪ tonight you better stay with me ♪ aah! daly: ...and so did the original "voice" powerhouse christina aguilera. she joined adam levine blake shelton, and pharrell williams for the biggest and best season yet. wow! i'm so ready and so refreshed. i can't see a better fit than you and i together. daly: christina wasted no time in showing she was back... ♪ yes, yes, yes! ♪ ...to build a winning team. do you want some clowns, or do you want somebody that takes you seriously? daly: it was a night of electrifying performances. yes! ♪ i am a man ♪ you're not going anywhere until you're the last person standing in this competition. [ falsetto ] ♪ i want you ♪ yeah! it's so different than anything else we've seen come across this stage. daly: heartfelt moments... thank you. ...and incredible surprises.

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